First Communion

09Feb12

On Sunday we joined Disciples congregations in Barranqueras and Resistencia for our very first services in Argentina. Our day of worship started with a visit to Barranqueras, a suburb of Resistencia and about 10 minutes away by car. It’s summer here, so attendance was light (sound familiar?) but that made it easier to meet everyone and have real conversations with people.

Barranqueras sanctuary

The sanctuary of the DOC church in Barranqueras

In the evening, we went to service at Iglesia Esperanza, our host church in Resistencia. Iglesia Esperanza has a vibrant music program for young people, with youth accompanying all of the hymns on recorder, violin, saxophone, and drums. The music and the presence of the kids in the front of the church gave the service a lively energy.

Iglesia Esperanza's youth music team

Iglesia Esperanza's youth music team

Both churches celebrate communion by having the entire congregation assemble around the altar to receive the bread and wine together in a circle. This manner of celebrating the Eucharist is a little different from what I’m used to in the Lutheran tradition, where congregants line up and take turns receiving communion, or in the UCC tradition, where worshippers are served communion as they sit in the pews.

First Communion

James assists with communion

What an experience of vulnerability, humility, and grace! Performing a familiar ritual in a new way, in a new space, and in a new language put me off balance, making me realize for the hundredth time how dependent James and I are on others as we try to gain our footing in a new culture. And I also felt, looking around the circle of people we have only just met but who have welcomed us nonetheless, a deep sense of gratitude.

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2 Responses to “First Communion”

  1. Thanks so much for your reflections! It is exciting for me, an intern at a Disciples of Christ Congregation in North Carolina, to read of the ministry on which you are embarking in Argentina. Blessings and much peace to you as Lent approaches. I look forward to reading more.


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